But here in Washington, the month of December has become synonymous with a rush to finish everything Congress couldn’t get done in the previous 11 months of the year, usually punctuated by keeping the government funded.
Government funding Before the midterm election, Congress wrapped the seven funding bills it didn’t finish into a package set to expire Dec. 7.
If an agreement isn’t reached by then, the government could face a partial shutdown affecting departments such as Homeland Security, Justice, State and Commerce.
President Trump has floated the idea of a shutdown if Congress doesn’t include $5 billion for fiscal 2019 for the border wall with Mexico he has been promising since the early days of his candidacy.
Earlier this month, while touring the wildfires in California, Trump told reporters that the caravan of migrants at the southern border made it a “good time” for a shutdown over border security.
But the appetite for a shutdown is small among members of Congress, and it’s unlikely that either side wants to disrupt federal programs or make government employees take unpaid furloughs during the holidays.
House Speaker election House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Mississippi Senate election Trump arrives in the state that he won by double digits in 2016 to shore up support at two rallies for incumbent Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) in a runoff election against former congressman Mike Espy (D).
Hyde-Smith is counting on support for Trump to carry her to victory, while Espy is hoping that, in a state that is one-third African American (he is African American), voters will reject the racist undertones of her recent comments.
Trump and foreign policy Trump will join 19 other international leaders in South America this week, with many contentious foreign policy issues at play.
Members of Congress have called for increased sanctions on Saudi Arabia over the killing, but Trump has maintained his support for Mohammed, citing the important economic and security interests of keeping the country as an ally.
Criminal justice reform Congress hoped to do something on this issue in the lame-duck session, as it’s one of the rare issues with bipartisan agreement across the ideological spectrum and the support of the White House.
But today, Trump said of his administration’s report, which warned of the crippling economic cost of climate change: “I don’t believe it.”
The lawsuit alleges that because Congress got rid of the individual mandate penalty requiring every person to have health insurance, then the whole bill, including consumer protections such as coverage for people with preexisting health conditions, should be considered invalid.
The Trump administration is not defending the law in court, something the Democrats hammered on as evidence that Republicans would let health protections for Americans lapse.
GOP subpoenas of Comey, Lynch Before they cede power to the Democrats, House Republicans last week served up subpoenas to former FBI director James Comey and former Obama administration Attorney General Loretta Lynch, asking them to appear for closed-door hearings next week.
The House GOP has used much of its investigative powers to determine whether the FBI and Justice Department had internal bias against President Trump that led to increased scrutiny of him as part of the Russia probe.
In January, the House Republicans will lose their subpoena power and it will be the Democrats with the ability to ask any number of Trump associates and aides to testify across what could be dozens of investigations into the Trump White House, campaign and personal finances.
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